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Cabinet member defends loss of education director in cuts

 
Created on 03/12/2018 @ 15:32
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

A Powys County Council cabinet member has said that she is happy with the changes made to its senior management will see it slimmed down from 24 to 16 roles.

This is despite Cllr Myfanwy Alexander’s department of education, losing its director.

From 1 March education, which has its own ring-fenced budget, will be amalgamated into a directorate that includes Children’s Services and Adult Services.

Cllr Myfanwy Alexander responded to comments made on Twitter that education had been downgraded with the post of director disappearing under the new structure.

Cllr Alexander said:  “Not downgraded but restructured. Yes, the post of Director of Education has gone but we will not be able to save considerable amounts of public money without making changes.

“I wouldn’t accept removal of any function important to the education and well being of children in Powys.

“This move brings about something I have long been campaigning for: Children’s Services and Education in one team. That’s best practice in my book.”

Last week the restructuring of county council senior management was revealed with the 24 posts over four management tiers being slimmed down to 16 over three.

Eight senior management posts including deputy chief executive and director of education have been axed.

The changes are supposed be in place by St David’s Day next year and will be inherited by the incoming chief executive Dr Caroline Turner, who was appointed in November.

The savings were estimated to be £1 million but the figure saved is said to be £1.3 million.

For acting chief executive, Dr Mohammed Mehmet, the re-structure has been one of his priorities.

Dr Mehmet  said:  “The new operating structure will ensure the county council has an appropriate sized senior management structure that is capable of delivering priorities within Vision 2025 and leading service transformation at a time of considerable pressure on local government.”

“We carried out a comprehensive review of the council’s senior structure which showed it was no longer fit-for-purpose and needed a radical overhaul to more closely align it to the council’s priorities, reduce the cost of management and remove silo working.”

“I believe the new structure will provide the leadership and direction the council needs.”

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